Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Department

College of Nursing

Abstract

This study used the Health Belief Model (HBM) to examine attitudes about breast health among women who had participated in the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial. More specifically, the purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between the HBM variables and the frequency of breast self-examination (BSE). A convenience sample of 80 women completed Champion’s (1993) HBM questionnaire.

It was hypothesized that the HBM concepts would significantly correlate with the frequency of BSE. However, only two significant correlations were found: a positive correlation between the frequency of BSE and perceived benefits (r=.37; p=.000) and a negative correlation between the frequency of BSE and perceived barriers (r=-.41; p=.000). Therefore, this hypothesis was not supported. A second hypothesis addressed was whether the HBM concepts could differentiate between groups of frequency of BSE. Using an analysis of variance, a significant difference was found between the HBM concept of barriers and the frequency of BSE. Women who perceived significant barriers to BSE performance were less likely to perform this procedure on a routine basis.

These results indicate that there are women who are still not performing monthly BSE even though they have been deemed high risk for developing breast cancer. It is important for nurses to continue to identify the factors that hinder women from conducting monthly BSE and develop interventions to encourage this lifesaving procedure.

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